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I’ve been doing window displays in retail shops or on bulletin boards for the library for the past 31 years-

Hope you have enjoyed some of these…and if you missed seeing some:

“Winter Wonderland”—2009….I enjoy the silver mylar frozen water.

Here, the Elf’s brass coat buttons got me going….2010

But before the peace of winter we had to fight off pirates

They landed at night..2010

But Fall finally came…2009

And finally we all could relax with a good book

Leaves abound in the colors of Fall..2010

Even the squirrel felt safe

Gee..how bad is that? Tough year for Mr. Squirrel. 2010

But then it got scary—-favorite Halloween Board 2009

But this past too……

the Northern Lights soon were out… 2009

Here,above, the sky and water reflect hidden neon papers off mylar boards.

It’s a total winter wonderland…burrrr

Best to you!

Franque

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How 'sweet' it is to be bringing in a New Year

Welcome…anyone for a swim?

Looking back through the years—-

favorite picture of number two daughter

I've always loved snow--here with my dad and Mr. Snow Joe himself

But summers are wonderful too! Hummingbird flies between Mom and Dad-show off!

Back in the day,,Morgan Lake Camp

The fishing is great

But you have to watch out for pirates!

We were always sure to have socks, dog lower center by my hand, to protect us from those famous Morgan pirates

In all I have to say things are looking up for this coming New Year!

But I'm keeping my eye out for that squirrel too

But Life has it's problems even for squirrels

Here’s hoping it’s a great New Year for all of you….

Lets hope all you hunters get a lot of turkey

and you gardeners pull alot of weeds!

Moments do last forever

May you all make wonderful music together this year as you laugh, dance and sing...

Me? I'll be thinking about each one of you, just as I always do, as the year goes on

What a year it has been! Blessings to all-have a great one.

Franque


There’s very little anyone can do about it now. Less than seven days remain in this year and it’s all too late. Those”I’m gonna lose twenty pounds” last New Year’s proclamations all fall  on our backsides  now, just hanging there while we hope it isn’t so. It’s just all so wrong it can’t be right!

It’s too late to become  the Astrophysicist, PHD, Mayor, Governor or  World Wide Leader we dreamed of becoming miraculously in just one year a scant 365 days ago.  All the dreams, all the hopes of last year now lay dashed along the roadside of too little time in our too busy days.

But it’s not just the big dreams skirting our realities now. How about cleaning the house? Yeah, now with less than a week to do it-who’s gonna start that now? Come on over if you feel like it but please bring a dumpster with you when you do. Oh, never mind, you’re still hoping to fill your dumpsters too.

The mid-way elections (mid-way to what is my question here) are over as well. Nice, now our country is cut up like  pieces of pie into varying factions, each unhappy ones to boot! All I can say, fairly with an open American mind, is that everyone is crazy but me. This is my simplest summation for last year’s revelations. The cuckoos’ nest has landed-in coming, call the National guard! Oh wait, never mind-the National Guard are all over seas guarding us there.  Aren’t they supposed to be over here? Just asking…..

Anyway, if you think I’m about to start studying for the BAR, painting my neighbor’s house, roping myself to a tree, shoveling someone Else’s driveway, well then you are much worse off than I thought. These days, the lame duck days of 2010, these are days  for loafing. It is amazing, however, to note our congress actually passed some stuff during their lame duck session>?!  This could begin a very bad trend for the’ lame duck’ idea.  So then I get to be thinking: where is EO for ducks when it comes to being a lame one? See? Nothing’s fair anymore.

Let’s just call it like it is. The year is past, kaput, fini, wiped out, over, slam dunked, cut loose, I still want to be your friend, washed up and hung out to dry. Though, it is true, very few gated communities allow people to hang wash out anymore, which, BTW, could be a good New Year’s resolution: Campaign to allow people to once again use solar power to dry their clothes! If we think of all the power, oil/gas/nuclear, used running dryers on bright, warm sunny days we’d need a year just to think about it. So it is true: time is running out for all of us.

Here’s a note—this blog just went over the 5000 read mark for the past 1 and 1/2 year it’s been out, here just between family and friends! Thanks for reading. My intention is to have the group of people I love and know to be, from time to time, reading the same humorous, gut wrenching, why did he write that, up-lifting, where is my gun, this guy’s nuts, political tear your hair out, I wish I hadn’t read this, posts.  I’m thinking too there is about 499 comments on this blog- I have enjoyed reading all of them.

So there is this: I’m going to keep writing even if it kills you. No, don’t try to stop me. You all know me by now-I write for the fun and for the love of it. Come to think of it, I just thought of what will be my new, newer than the last new, New Year’s  Resolution. I’m gonna live my next year for the love and fun of it . Anyone care to join me? Hope so.

Franque.


(Avatar Magic, by Gerald  Franquemont, is now on Kindle and it can be downloaded onto most computers and reading devices.)

Talking to my sister last night I realized that more than half of the World is crazy. Better halves or not if your car requires an engine block heater, your ears need three mile thick ear muffs, your mouth a scarf to breathe through and your socks and boots self ventilating construction you are peeled, roasted, toasted, most likely slightly salted genuine nuts.

Yeah- like I was hinting, up in Minneapolis last night the temperature was something like -15 with a wind chill factor of 45 below. Prefect beach weather there. Here’s the kind of forecast I’m talking about:

http://www.wunderground.com/US/MN/Minneapolis.html

Anyway, hasn’t half of the country ever heard of transportation to move south with? Just get a map for Christmas Sake, find due south and head this way. Just saying…

OK. So here, where I live, we did break a 50 year old record low last week and tonight it may get to be 22….spanking cold but not, well, one brain short of person, bolts loose and lost, a brain a splitter would rattle around in, the cold is nice crazy. Here we can still grin, bear it, and live to have our faces reshape another day without fracturing. This is a good thing. But I’ve still a few questions?

How is it people who see the thermometer go down to 20 below outside in the winter can still think a lake at 70 is too cold to swim in during the summer? I guess this is just another pure case of what I call “ice cube thinking”. It’s sad, really, when you think about it. All these people huddled around brandied eggnog (and I do suspect this type of drink may very well be the cause of this mental condition) all hoping their winter won’t be as bad as the last 4000- we are pretty sure about- have been. There’s a nice bet there.

About the eggnog- Please catch this if you haven’t already:

Naturally….it’s food!

So when these frozen people, specifically their brains, thaw I guess it just isn’t pretty. I’m not gonna bring up how most of them vote-that’s just too low a blow for a southern boy to dish out. Down here we’re mellowed from all that frost bite thinking. We melt with the flow, bask in the sun, hope the garden we planted in March will make it until December and guess what: Santa still comes here too! No chimneys and all (Please don’t mention this last part to the ice housed children up North).

Lastly, for all those living in below zero winters, I suggest you say two words very slowly into a mirror as you watch your mouths move, if you can move your mouth at all that is. Here it is: say N-o-r-t-h and then say S-o-u-t-h. There. See the difference?  They’re two different words for two completely different places. How neat is that? One place can freeze your toes off or even much worse than that off-not going there, don’t even want to think about it; in the other place you need to always have sun screen around.

I’ll give all you cracked heads up North one thing though: winter fun is nice. See this post on how my family tried to kill me every winter if you haven’t already read it (someone call the cops)

Sleighing and Sloshed

Ok. So it does get somewhat cold here some of the time- you know 50ish with a wind. Maybe lower…I recall writing something about the cause for the lack of birds down here last “Happy Seasonal Greeting Don’t mention Jesus” time of the year.  Here it is, one of my favorite posts:

After ‘Birth’ Potpourri

Have a laugh this week, but for some, only do that when you’re inside-

Franque


(Click on the pictures for a bigger, better view)

Two weeks ago I noticed my Fall bulletin board seemed to be off it’s guard. I knew this was my best shot, my best chance to get the job done.

Quickly  I made sure the Elf’s clothes were all arranged. I knew the bears and squirrels glasses prescriptions  were in; I felt certain the rabbit and deer would be available. With all these players in place I put my plan into action a week ago last Monday.

I was careful not to stare at the Fall board or think too much about the new up-coming one during this time-there’s nothing worse than a freaked out bulletin board. Then the moment came. Up the ladder, down with the leaves, pins in my cup,pins in my fingers-the race was on!

Up went the white laced snow, behind it stood the black forest of trees. I slapped a book into the Elf’s hand and the squirrel climbed the  tree. The deer came out just like I thought she would, the rabbit hoped up as well. Even the bear woke up and started to read.

Shhhh-no one seems to know we're watching

Sliding around to get a better view-

Pulling back to take it all in

I just have to get a better look at this Elf!

Where do they get those pants!

Then I just found myself having to go left and right-

going left


and going right

I had to take another look at this very strange site!

One last look at this site

Seasonal Greetings, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to all

and for everyone, everywhere, I hope all is just right!

Franque

*Materials are white lace as snow-

Sequined materials catch the over-head lighting throughout-

Mylar cut animals to to heighten the color of the Elf-

Trees made of carpet inside cardboard rolls cut and taped together, all covered in burlap-

The stream is an ice blue colored cloth.

The squirrel has been in every bulletin board at this location for over a year now-just for fun-Bye.


One of the miracles of this season is I can still make it down the super market isles after Thanksgiving Dinner(s). It is three turkey’s later for me plus all the trimmings. And to derail here, isn’t it somehow wonderful that pumpkin pies usually have a lot of nutmeg in them, a substance known to help with digestion and settle the stomach? Who thought up this combo idea anyway?

I started switching over to cooking naturally raised, lets just say less synthetic, turkeys for Thanksgiving sometime around the late 80’s. Then, as I remember it, these turkeys weren’t equal in taste to the nice butterball, artificially made  juicy varieties. Cooking these packaged as natural turkeys upside down helped them come out somewhat tender, much like the ones injected, juiced, pumped up, chemically blended or saturated in additives with unthinkable names did. But over all times have changed…some things have changed that is.

Today I still get that faint “I must have come from outer space” feeling when I read the labels on some of the seasonal turkeys offered in grocery stores. I’m just asking, what the hell is half the stuff they inject these birds with? How tall are people gonna get? And, maybe more importantly, do these hormones and additives only make you taller in size? What else might get larger? Oh never mind-I don’t want to cause a run on hormones. But the song should be ‘The Twelve Chemicals of Turkeys’-just saying.

But not just turkeys lurk in grocery stores as disguised chemical deposits. Take eggnog. Ok, don’t take it, drink it or whatever. Anyway I love eggnog, drank it all my life which is most likely why my body will never decompose after I die.

Yeah, don’t read eggnog labels-I understand some say just reading these labels is harmful to your health. But, and this really is the butt of it, there is a wonderful completely naturally made eggnog sold in some,a few, stores right next to the killing varieties. It’s called Nature’s Valley organic eggnog. Now look-I own no stock, (Mostly because no controls have been put in place since Enron but that’s a whole n’other disaster waiting to happen), so that’s not why I’m giving you the link-up….

http://www.organicvalley.coop/products/milk/eggnog/?tx_comments_pi1[page]=1&cHash=2af398334038f9c5bce61231a7beade4

It’s just for the life and death of all of us I can’t see why one million varieties of egg nog full of toxic waste are for sale when one naturally made is just as tasty if not better. The cost is not so much more either. Our store here, Publixs, carries this seasonally and always runs out of it early on. Just yesterday I looked to buy my 4th quart and found only shelves full of chemically saturated eggnog. My natural brand was sold out. Nice.

Moving on we all know bacon can even kill a cock roach. But did you know a business brand label called Applewood makes a naturally uncured center cut bacon? Yeah-this cut is almost a buck a slice so they sell a normal looking cut at 4.50$ a box too.  Check it out- it’s nuts good and has “organic” all the way from the ground up laced into it. “No chemicals” is not free, but better. Here’s a link-up on it:

http://www.eatlikenoone.com/niman-ranch-applewood-smoked-uncured-bacon.htm

and

http://store.nimanranch.com

Hmmm…it’s just a wonder to see all this organic stuff take hold. Why? Well, I actually grew up in the “Aren’t chemicals wonderful” era of food production.

“Here honey. Take your chemicals. You want to keep up with the Jones’ twelve foot tall six-year-old right?”

Heck, my Dad was a Union Carbide chemical man himself. I was proud of the chemical compound we called our garage. And we used them too. One year our lawn displayed as a poke-a-dot art form due to a new weed killer we used. It seems this product was capable of killing everything you even just thought about using it on. But that’s all past now.

I round the last bend before reaching the grocery store check-out line and gaze in wonder at one thousand ice cream boxes all neatly stack in freezers, just waiting there for the taking. Isn’t it great? Thousands of ice creams for sale full of chemicals not yet discovered by man.  Who wants to eat, say, Breyers, a real ice cream, when you can be part of a universal chemical lab testing program instead? Who wants to miss out on those tasty fillers anyway?

Some actually say they prefer the taste of artificially flavored syrups and ice creams. So be it. Me? I’d rather eat natural foods and if I have a yearning for chemicals I’ll just go down to my local chemical farm store and buy some.

Oh I know what other people say: “Some chemicals are good for you”. That’s true, I guess. But what about something like Sodium Nitrite, a chemical found in most packaged meats? If this chemical is so good for us why isn’t it sold in separate foil wrapped packages so we can eat it by the spoon full? Maybe the 67% increase risk of some cancers this chemical is suspected of causing has something to do with it’s use of disguise in our food chain.

It is odd Nasa recently discovered a living DNA strand that uses Arsenic as it’s building block of life in its structure. I’ll give you that. So maybe all these “Chemicals are good for you” people are right after all?

Either way I’m betting this toxic, once avid chemical consuming plant body I’ve known as me all my life will never decompose. So there is this: I want a mirror put up on the inside of my casket lid. There’s just no way, if I’m gonna lie around forever, that I’m gonna do it having a bad hair day too.

Franque

Please find below a link to a Japanese group, Shumei, who started a movement for all natural foods as far back as 1945 I believe. I’ve added this as an answer to a comment from reader Jessica

http://www.shumei.org/agriculture/history.html

 


 



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